Letters To The Editor

Enough Already: The World Is Watching As Gaza Is Being Starved

How much longer will the world allow Israel to act with absolute impunity? On countless occasions since the escalating attacks on innocent Palestinian civilians, the Biden Administration has been reported to “warn” Israel, and “pressure” Netanyahu and “push” the IDF to act in accordance with international humanitarian law. It has been six months. Six months of watching massive airstrikes, absolute destruction, depraved military operations and death - so much death in Palestine. Now, we are watching as those that survived the relentless bombings, die of forced starvation because Israel will not allow sufficient aid into Gaza.

It is long past time for the United States to halt the financial, military and political cover we’ve given Israel’s genocidal campaign. Even after the ICJ’s ruling, objections from international humanitarian organizations, and warnings from the Biden Administration, Israel has rejected any calls for restraint and doubled down on their intent to massacre Palestinian civilians. Currently, the IDF is poised to launch an invasion of Rafah, the southernmost point of the Gaza strip where 1.5M forcibly displaced refugees are sheltering. 

To be in lockstep with Netanyahu’s authoritarian regime is unconscionable; to hold Gaza and the world hostage by refusing international ceasefire resolutions is absolutely evil. Not only does the U.S. look incredibly foolish on the world stage, but also utterly hypocritical and breath-takingly callous. 

As a nation, we will face consequences for aiding and abetting a genocide. Whether it’s Trump in November, or a geopolitical conflict in the near future or judgment day when we meet our proverbial maker, America needs to take accountability and course correct or else this will be the beginning of the end of our role as a leader of the free world. No short-term foreign policy goals are worth that. 

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Alumni For Hendy

Dear Lakewood Community,

As a collective of Lakewood City School graduates, retired and current teachers, parents of former students, and staff both near and far, we have been disheartened to hear of the changes implemented in the elementary school day schedule resulting in drastic reductions to both music (60%) and physical education (50%) class times.
The addition of instruction in STEM and digital literacy is well-intentioned and we can appreciate that it seeks to meet the advancing needs of today’s world. Still, we know that it is possible for the integration of these subjects to be carried out in a way that does not impair student experience and engagement. We believe that Trish Hendy is the best candidate for the Lakewood City Schools Board of Education. In our personal interactions with Trish, we have come to know her as hard-working,
caring, and honest. Consistent with our Lakewood tradition, Trish Hendy values art and music education, and we support the changes she has proposed to restore music, art, and PE offerings in the district. We know that, if elected, Trish will be a tireless advocate for the students of Lakewood Schools, just as she was during our time at LHS. Trish Hendy supported and believed in all of us when we were Lakewood students; we hope that she is given the opportunity to share her passion for Lakewood and Lakewood’s students as a member of the Board of Education. Vote Trish Hendy for Lakewood Board of Education.

Greg Culley LHS Class of 2010
D. Sweeny (former board of education member), Dr. C. Greanoff ‘77, M. Hildebrandt ‘68 (retired 27 years in LKWD), Dr. B. Hankins (34 years), G. & J. Wondrak (retired 26 years and 15 years respectively), M. Wightman (retired), J. Tabaj (33 years, retired), T. (Coyne) Andreani ‘82, P. & H. Hilty ‘72, M. Lisi (‘91-’97, retired), T. & T. Selby (retired 23 years and 30 years respectively), L.(Welty) Mueller '81, M.Mueller ‘07, B. Mueller-Calvitti ‘09, L. (Mast) Girman ‘73, Dr. C. IaculloNygaard ‘01, K.Smith ‘99, C. Lavelle ‘98, C. Woodard ‘98, K Tee ‘93, C. Scealf ‘99, M Vondrak ‘97, K. Bindel ‘00, Z. Schroll ‘06, M. Tabor ‘00, C. Studer ‘98, K. Bindel ‘98, B. Connor ‘99, T.Peckens ‘97, J. Robinson ‘98, G. Culley ‘10, M. Trnavsky-Carnovale ‘98, N. Palmieri ‘98, J. Christensen ‘97, E. Brett ‘98, J. Fleming Wroblewski ‘94, K. Smith ‘06, J. Browning 98, N. Pearce ‘91, C. Holmes ‘91, R. Lowe ‘97, C. Crawford ‘91, M. Fox ‘94, A. Wasielewski ‘05, N. Cleary ‘97, B. Craven ‘08, K. Maclean ‘93, D. Tardivo 06, J. Wilks ‘95, K. Hurst ‘06, B Novotny ‘97, B Novotny ‘98, G. Browning ‘76, S. Petrone ‘19, R.Kosmowski ‘98, M. Spooner ‘98, M. Kiley ‘98, M. Mays ‘98, K. Van Stratton Banda ‘97, J Youngs ‘98, A. De Sorgo ‘88, K. Eubanks ‘97, G. Ott ‘97, N. Bocchicchio ‘98, M. Wurstner ‘96, S. Wroten ‘03, A Bartos ‘22, A. Perez ‘09, G. Blackburn, A. Stevenson ‘04, E. Jackson ‘10, K.Tuleta ‘07, T. Hollander ‘07, B. Wroten ‘04, M. Horn ‘13, V. Hamm ‘07, A. Neidert ‘10, S. Stewart ‘07, J. Kless Sharma ‘08, A. Hinshaw ‘06, G. Gilbert ‘06, M. Davis ‘20, P. Eberl ‘74, D. & L (Holchin) Lutsock ‘91 and ‘90, S. Holchin ‘96

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Volume 19, Issue 20, Posted 3:10 PM, 10.18.2023

Vote Clark-Sutton for School Board!

Dear Neighbors,

I proudly support Colleen Clark-Sutton for Lakewood City School Board, and I am writing to ask you to join me in voting for her on or before November 7th.

Qualified and Lifelong Educator

Colleen Clark-Sutton’s career in education reflects her dedication to lifelong learning, both for herself and her students. She is intellectually curious, and embodies the growth mindset characteristic of our City Schools’ Vision of Lakewood Graduate, continuously learning from and finding inspiration from others, and putting in the effort to achieve mastery while also welcoming and seeking out opportunities to grow. I actually first met Colleen as her technology teacher, in a class she paid for out of her own pocket because she thought it might help her students and she wanted to learn. Colleen Clark-Sutton’s professional educational accomplishments include:

  • A Masters in Education John Carroll University

  • Experience teaching High School Social Studies in Garfield Heights

  • Current service as an Adjunct Professor at Tri-C, and experience teaching at Baldwin Wallace and Kent State

  • Advanced studies on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through the University of Colorado


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Volume 19, Issue 20, Posted 3:13 PM, 10.18.2023


You have a man who allows you to learn a skill in order to benefit himself, who tells you with each motion of his body, “You will never sit at my table. But, this here, this skill, will allow you to sit better than the least of you at your table. Also, the total factors of all your lives are ever to be determined by me.” This is the debate of, “The revised guidelines, released this month (in Florida-ed) which require educators to instruct middle schoolers that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

This is when we must see that a division in the mind of a person left to better themselves while simultaneously being told they will not be any manner of equal arrives-- the arrival of a division that I cannot share or know. And it is a difficult division in that so much of our lives as Americans today, for me, are based on attempting to see each other clearly and of refusing results that say the human spirit can never be overcome by insisting on blind alleys. To be able to listen, to hear, to approximate-- --though these are grand tools of human society-- they do not render differences obsolete.

There are times when a conversation will reach a flex point as in, “You cannot understand me.” “Yes, but I must understand you.” This flex point demands an honesty of both parties and a willingness to listen, hear, approximate. But, to foist a thoroughly willful and temporary gauge upon the conversation is a flat loss as in: "Slavery was, well, not all bad." It is so patently ridiculous that to scoff, that thing I do not prefer in democratic conversation, is apropos.

Better, better yet-- to see the soul held that cannot win, that must find a way of not losing too much, to see the soul wronged, wronged of mother of father of brother of sister, to see the soul, like crumbs swept, held by what an owner will do for them and they will never be allowed to do for themselves, to see the soul held as property, to see the soul held in a million ways that will always be a low ceiling without light and never a full sky made of light, to see the soul held to "betterment" based on the soul's willingness to approximate the goals of an owner who will insist that they listen and hear and agree with them, is to see a soul held.


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Volume 19, Issue 15, Posted 2:44 PM, 08.02.2023

Big Business: Not So Fashionable

Dear Editor,

It is crucial we take action against big businesses in order to preserve our one home: Earth. Fast fashion has dominated the industry and capitalizes on consumer addiction. With devious marketing ploys, companies are able to brainwash citizens into buying countless goods without addressing the detrimental effects. We are faced with this tragedy of the commons where consumers and companies take advantage of shared resources giving rise to a complete lack of control over this human created catastrophe. Just because an item is cheaper and can be accessed effortlessly does not mean it is better. These items are produced with harmful materials that are not made to last, inducing excessive amounts of waste. A continued lack of regulations leads to large corporations exploiting consumers and our environment’s shared resources.

Companies will force the responsibility on you and continually lack the fundamental accountability that they should embody, but their entitlement and disregard for others can only be stopped with government involvement. Now is the time to implore lawmakers to enact policies that promote sustainability rather than overproduction and consumerism. Vote for individuals who care about holding big businesses accountable and prioritize the environment over the economy.


Catherine Hilow

Catherine Hillow is an Undergraduate Student at Lehigh University and a proud resident of Lakewood, Ohio.


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Volume 19, Issue 10, Posted 3:10 PM, 05.17.2023

Elementary Schools Specials Schedule - Letter To The Editor

Dear LO Editor,

As a parent with three daughters, the oldest of which is in 8th grade, I would like to express my feelings about the upcoming Lakewood elementary schools' specials schedule. Recently, the School Board decided to not only listen to the parents (a vast 88% majority), but to also use reason when deciding to implement a balanced approach to their specials programming.

As an educator for 18 years (principal for 10) and a current school consultant for districts spanning from the Midwest to Alaska, I agree with this decision. Year after year, I am continually impressed with our music program – from the elementary concerts to the instrument development, choirs, bands, orchestras, and the Lakewood Project. Not to mention the theater and other fine arts. My children have taken full advantage of these programs that they have had access to based on their age and grade level.

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Volume 19, Issue 9, Posted 12:21 PM, 05.03.2023

Sometimes Less Is More

Your March 15th front page article regarding the Lakewood Board of Education's plan to increase STEM learning in elementary schools shows unintended parallels to the Lakewood Park Waterfront Access Feasibility Study promoted on page 2 of that issue in the "Mayor's Corner." In both cases, people were asked if they supported a popular concept: STEM learning in the schools or access to Lake Erie at the park; and in both cases, they answered "Yes! We want that." However, they weren't thinking of the consequences. When parents understood they would have to sacrifice music and phys. ed, their support for the STEM curriculum cooled.

Waterfront access at Lakewood Park contains similar pitfalls. This park is a gem specifically because of the artistic development that has already occured there. Dumping a sandy beach in front of the Solstice Steps now--as an afterthought--might destroy the aesthetics of the entire shoreline. The red brick, tree lined "promenade" leading back to the zig-zagging stairway at the east end is truly special. It feels very sophisticated for Lakewood, or anywhere in Cleveland for that matter. Edgewater Park is impressive, but the Lakewood Park promenade evokes the old-world charm of cosmopolitian Europe.


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Volume 19, Issue 8, Posted 1:06 PM, 04.19.2023

Lakewood Law Can Eliminate County Plastic Bag Ban Here

Tell Lakewood City Council and Mayor Megan George to opt out of the foolish and counter-productive extremist plastic bag ban that Cuyahoga County Council arrogantly imposed as a law county-wide. Cleveland, Brooklyn, Strongsville, North Olmsted and Independence wisely opted out. Call me at 216-221-0228 to get organized.

Prohibiting merchants from giving customers a free plastic bag to put their purchase in is stupid. Using paper bags destroys trees, thereby worsening global warming. Paper bags leak and cannot be sealed, for garbage, dog poop, etc... That forces us to buy plastic bags which are expensive and thicker plastic, putting more plastic in the environment. Plastic bags can be recycled into various products.

Lakewood is not polluted with plastic bags. Tote bags become dirty and unsanitary. This un-American bag ban takes away our freedom and is dictatorial big government. Councilpersons and mayors who allow this oppressive bag ban should be replaced. This Lakewood bag ban is a reason to shop in Cleveland, not Lakewood.

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Volume 19, Issue 5, Posted 8:21 PM, 03.01.2023

Hello Lakewood

Do you sleep on one side or the other? Do you fall down with precision or messy implications? Do you walk about with a hat or a scarf? Is there a way to know that you are here? (That last bit was, honestly, a typo?)

I have been around the world, is a way to introduce a sentence. But, one does live and duration amounts. So-- do you crave salt or sugar? Do you have a problem with your carpet with having to vacuum it? Do you fall down and get up with precision or does something else occur? Is there a way to know someone is here for you? (Not a typo.)

I once went climbing down a cliff with no ropes-- quite brave, yes. But, if one is not dead they get to type. So…do you, when asked, consider what you should say? Do you curse your vacuum for pleasure when you have to exchange nozzles for a particular amount of dust when you know this is just average? Do you wish that when you were young that people had not said-- things happen this way?

I have not been around the world-- not even close. I have been to Denver-- they have mountains at the western outskirts. You have to keep living until you don’t-- it shouldn’t be annoying but then there are questions. Do you have a moment when you want to leave the house you live within and the street is never a consideration of loss? Do you, when you sink in messy implications, involve everyone or just one, two? Do you eat? (That last bit was, clearly, a rather not question-- which has its value?)

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Volume 19, Issue 5, Posted 8:21 PM, 03.01.2023

Jesus Is Not Republican

Jesus is not a Republican. There are awesome Godly men and women who voted Republican their entire lives (including my husband, until 2016) and many good Republican people in elected office, but now many of those Republicans in the party of Trump are taking great liberties with my Jesus. By showing the cross with a red, white and blue flag on it behind him in the photo, this Ad by Keith Davey upsets me. 

By associating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the Republican party, this outrage has become a huge source of shame for the church and for Christians like me. It is long overdue that the entire church denounce this practice. It is embarrassing to me as a Christian. I too am  conservative, patriotic and a devout Christian - and I don’t like this. I don’t align myself with Davey as he defines himself with these same words. 

Also, Christianity is not nationalism. We are Christians first, Americans second. If politics compromises our allegiance to our King Jesus, then we must reject such practices by politicians. Its leads to such abominations as sayings like “Jesus is my Savior and Trump is my President” when our Capitol was violated. We can't let Christianity or the cross become a tool for political beliefs that go against Jesus' teachings. That is not who we are in Christ.


Mary Bodnar


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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

You Did It, Lakewood!

The scents for single moms in the projects collection drive at Grace Presbyterian Church showed an outpouring of love and giving from the community. The single moms will enjoy their items, just for them, for a while.

Thank you,

Tina Francis

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Volume 18, Issue 19, Posted 5:28 PM, 10.05.2022

It's Past Time For Lakewood To Partially Mitigate Its Error In Demolishing Lakewood Hospital

In 2015 Lakewood citizens had the benefit of an excellent full-service hospital operating in the area of Lakewood often referred to by government officials as Lakewood’s downtown. In those days, if a person had a serious accident, or a heart attack, or a stroke, our excellent EMS could bring that patient to our city’s hospital for emergency medical care in a very few minutes, with no need for further transporting.

Unfortunately, in 2015, the then mayor Michael Summers and the then city council members Mary Louise Madigan, Thomas Bullock, Ryan Nowlin, Cindy Marx, David Anderson, Sam O’Leary and Shawn Juris wrongfully entered into an agreement terminating the City’s contract with the Cleveland Clinic requiring the Clinic to operate that hospital until 2026 as a full-service facility.

Part of Mayor Summers bogus claims to justify closing an excellent full-service hospital a decade before its contract with the Clinic was over was his claim that citizens would still have an emergency department at the same location.

While the medical office building the Cleveland Clinic constructed at Belle and Detroit has a sign saying Emergency, too many people seeking emergency care there are told that they can’t be taken care of at that facility and that they needed to go to a hospital that can actually provide the required care.


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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 10:55 AM, 09.22.2022

Invasion Of The Electric Scooters

I always enjoy Rob Masek's comics in The Lakewood Observer, but the recent one (Vol. 18, Issue 15) was especially apropos.

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 12:38 PM, 09.21.2022

Letter to the Editor: Every Vote Counts!

Every vote counts! In the August Observer, Jack Weigand wrote, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE. Terri Kern wisely warned in her Letter to the Editor in Chief not to rely on biased TV ads and candidate and political party websites dictating what laws are going to be. Cindy Marx in her article spoke of the integrity of the Board of Elections making sure of an honest vote and tally and the valor of the League of Women Voters who set up “imitation voting booths” at the Lakewood Arts Festival to educate non-voters how to vote.

My immigrant parents instilled in me the importance of voting. I’ve voted in every election since I turned 18 including the 61 years living in Lakewood. I served as Executive Secretary of the Young Dems when John F. Kennedy ran for president and later organized the Democratic Women’s Council with activists Jane Spock and Shirley Stokes. For years, I served as precinct committee woman and continue my membership in the Lakewood Democratic Club.

VOTE, it’s your BREAD and Butter. Unfortunately our civics classes have failed to instill our youths with the truth that our freedoms depend on those we elect to office. Leadership in Columbus with restricted rights against the freedom of women to choose has made us partners with South Carolina and Alabama. Polling of Ohioans shows that the public does not agree with these restricted laws. Your VOTE will agree or disagree. It’s also an obligation to speak your voice.

Before you cast your vote, however, educate yourself by reading both the Democratic and Republican platforms on the internet. The candidate you choose represents the party principals. Then, VOTE as Jack, Terri, Cindy urge. I also urge that you CONSIDER RUNNING FOR OFFICE. Start locally as I did. Run for precinct committee person and commit yourself to responsible citizenship. Then expand to others your enthusiasm to be a voter.

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 12:38 PM, 09.21.2022

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor In Chief:

This letter aims to acknowledge the divide bogging down our democracy and offer a way to open a dialogue between liberal and conservative Ohioans. Through a grassroots organization called Country First, I believe Ohio can serve as a role model to show Americans in other states that there's hope for healing.  

Our district, US OH-9, is consistently gerrymandered and a seat that Marcy Kaptur (D) has held since 1983. Her opponent is J.R. Majewski (R), a Trump-endorsed QAnon election denier who proudly boasts about his involvement in the January 6th insurrection. I’m a conservative Ohioan who believes sending Majewski to the US House of Representatives would be dangerous.

An organization like Country First allows me to express my beliefs and fears to a wide range of people with whom I know my views are valued, even if they're not the same. Focusing on common ground, I can turn to my team and devise a plan of action to support Kaptur and weed out toxic candidates.

I see Ohio bringing back manufacturing and other industry jobs to a state with laws that help us live the American dream in a way WE define together. I hope we can grow Country First in Ohio as a place where we put our heads together as one big community and position Ohio as the BEST state in which to live no matter who you are.


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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 7:00 PM, 07.20.2022

It's Time To Own Childhood Obesity

To the Editor:

As a practicing registered nurse in critical care and BSN student, I know the impact that childhood obesity has on society, both currently and in the future.

According to the CDC, by 2020, 14.7 million children and adolescents were obese or overweight. In Ohio, 17.2% of youth ages 10 to 17 have obesity, giving Ohio a ranking of 17 among the 50 states. In addition, overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and develop chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart failure.

Of course, this is not a new problem. However, it is an unspoken area of health impacted by COVID-19 that affects our community.

The long-term impact of prolonged school closures on students and distance learning from the pandemic remains unknown. Everyone speaks of the academic perspective; however, the pandemic has created an “extended summer break” from health and physical education with potentially disastrous consequences.

Currently, Ohio does not mandate a specific amount of time for health/physical education for elementary and middle school students, only high school students. Yet, school is the primary location for children to learn about health, participate in physical activities, and lay the groundwork for lifelong healthy living. Put this on the long list of things that COVID-19 took away from us as a society.

But we can do something about it.

As a healthcare provider and citizen of Lakewood, I am very proud that our city is embarking on a Community Needs Health Assessment. As we move forward, I propose that the city consider changing its school requirements to a mandated time for health and physical education for all students.


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Volume 18, Issue 11, Posted 12:29 PM, 06.01.2022

Councilman Rader Endorses Nina Turner For Congress

I’m voting for Nina Turner for Congress, in the May 3 primary. I encourage you to join in supporting a champion for Lakewood and our progressive values.

I filed to run for Congress, myself, because when the filing deadline for candidates arrived, districts were still up in the air. If that sounds like doing things backward—candidate deadline first, maps later—I couldn’t agree more.

The Republican leaders in Ohio who have drawn one illegal, gerrymandered map after another have created an unreasonable situation for everyone. People are still fighting to get the fair districts that voters demanded, and which voters deserve. Cuyahoga County’s West Side, which has been broken into separate districts for years, may be reunited once fairness and the law prevail.

But meanwhile, voting is underway in a primary in which Nina Turner is running to represent Lakewood and Cleveland, and she has my fullest support.

Nina has been fighting for the values we do our best to promote here in Lakewood for many years and has taken on the toughest battles in the Ohio Senate. She champions affordable housing and renter protections. She supports Medicare for All and pushes back against price increases for prescription drugs and healthcare.


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Volume 18, Issue 9, Posted 2:39 PM, 04.20.2022

Comments On The Foster Pool Project

The current Foster Pool was planned in 1953 and in 1955 Lakewood Council approved its construction. At that time, there were few full sized  (50meters by 25 yards) Olympic Sized pool in the nation, let alone in the Cleveland area.

The current plan for replacing Foster  Pool seems several steps backwards from the original vision. The 1953 plan was incredibly ahead of its time in anticipating the needs of the community..

I would agree that the new facility should  meet  the needs of the community, allowing for younger swimmers,  competitive swimmers  adult fitness and masters swimmers.

I wonder if the planning group for this project would take a broader look at the planning.

Lakewood has two outdoor pools to meet the community needs. The Becks pool is well suited mostly to recreational swimming for youngsters of all ages, rather than competition and fitness swimming.

So, to compromise the Foster pool project while having the Becks pool available seems to be an unwise choice.


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Volume 18, Issue 4, Posted 7:12 PM, 02.02.2022

Judicial Endorsement

I first became acquainted with Sara Fagnilli almost two decades ago when I taught her two sons. I was always impressed with how candid, courteous, fair-minded, and articulate she was, as well as how deeply committed she was to her family and to her community. It wasn't until several years later that I discovered the breadth of her municipal legal experience not only in Lakewood, but all over northern Ohio as well. Our community will be well served to have someone of Sara’s character and integrity as our next Municipal Court Judge. I urge you to consider her trusted experience when you cast your ballot.

Maureen Arbeznik has been a Lakewood resident for 40+ years and is a longtime educator and administrator in Lakewood parochial schools.

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Volume 17, Issue 21, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

Our Lakewood Progress: "The Pit" And The Pendulum Of Community Involvement

Earlier this year, the city of Lakewood entered into an agreement with Casto to redevelop the former site of Lakewood Hospital. As of August the city, according to its website, anticipated that by the end of 2020, city council would advance legislation authorizing the negotiation of a Development Agreement with Casto and start the Planned Development zoning process. 

From the discovery of hazardous chemicals, issues with the foundation, to supply chain breakdowns, increased supply costs and delayed timelines for construction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest profile development project our city has seen in a hundred years has seemed to have stalled. Considering the issues found at the site, it's important that we do our due diligence to make sure we erase any trace of adverse environmental or safety hazards to keep future patrons, business owners and residents safe. This, understandably, takes time. We also have to factor in safety protocols for those who will work to rebuild the site, as many new precautionary measures have been taken by construction companies to mitigate risk and labor shortages because of the pandemic. 

But, communication with residents is also key. Questions about the site can come from long absences of direct communication from city leaders. Factors like the continuing pandemic limit public meetings and opportunities for connection, but community input and clarity on the intended changes, designs, and amenities for this site is critical to ensure everyone feels included and informed on next steps in the process, even if the next steps right now can’t yet include direct onsite construction.


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Volume 17, Issue 20, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

Tess Neff Is The Ideal Choice For Lakewood Judge

We are lifetime Lakewood residents. We have over 100 years of experience as practicing attorneys. We have been prosecutors. We have been defense attorneys. We have handled countless cases in the Lakewood Municipal Court as attorneys and as Acting Judge. 

Most importantly, we know there is one ideal candidate for Lakewood Judge: Tess Neff.

Tess is a caring person with the perfect temperament for judicial office. We know this because we have seen her in action: Tess served for years as a Judicial Magistrate and Acting Judge in Lakewood. Significantly, she is the only candidate in this race with any judicial experience. Her opponent has not presided over a single court case, while Tess has presided over literally thousands of criminal and civil cases involving Lakewood residents. And she has done so with fairness, integrity, compassion and humility. 

Tess is widely respected by our colleagues and peers in the legal community, including those with substantial experience in Lakewood Court as civil attorneys, prosecutors and defense attorneys. You need not take our word for it: when the five greater Cleveland area bar associations that comprise Judge4Yourself.com thoroughly assessed and then rated the candidates for this critical position, Tess received the greatest number of “Excellent” ratings. 


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Volume 17, Issue 20, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

Letter To The Editor

Redevelopment of the old Lakewood Hospital site may be the most important issue facing Lakewood at this time and yet, most of the candidates for council hardly mention it. The City's recent settlement with Carnegie Management brings new hope that this property can be developed wisely; washing away lingering bitterness about the hospital closure and subsequent questions regarding Carnegie's connections to former Lakewood politicians.

Kyle Baker appears uniquely qualified to help Lakewood move forward. As a real estate lawyer working for Cleveland Metroparks, his knowledge about public/corporate partnerships is tailor made for this situation. Whether your ideology leans more toward strengthening safety forces, or expanding social programs, you can't accomplish much without revenue. Please vote for Kyle G. Baker for city council in November.

Thank you,

Donna Childs

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Volume 17, Issue 20, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

Coffee With the Subconscious... Don't Fear Medusa /Sources

OPINON PIECE - Letter To The Editor
Don't be afraid to look at Medusa. You won't turn to stone. The irony here is that if you Fail to look at Medusa you WILL turn to Stone.

This is a quote from my book, Coffee with the Subconscious, that I wrote over ten years ago. It's currently haunting my soul because people are turning to stone all around me. 

When I communicate to people that I'm a graphologist their quick thought is that they're afraid to have me look at their handwriting. They're afraid of criticism.

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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 8:46 AM, 10.26.2021

Vote For Nora Katzenberger For Lakewood School Board

You may have seen a few gold-colored yard signs around town telling you to “Vote for Nora Katzenberger for Lakewood School Board.” I’m excited to tell you a bit about myself as you prepare for the election on November 2. As a parent of two students in the Lakewood schools, I want to use my professional communications background and extensive volunteer experience to bring new energy and ideas to our schools. 

I have been a very involved volunteer in our schools since 2013. I value the role our teachers and schools play in helping all of our children to realize their full potential. I am fortunate that the excellent public school education I received in Parma prepared me for the competitive challenges at the University of Pennsylvania. I want Lakewood students to continue to have the same opportunity to realize their full potential.

As Chair of the 2020 Lakewood School Levy campaign, I worked side by side with administrators, teachers, parents, students, and community members to secure our schools’ healthy financial future with the support of 77% of Lakewood voters. My involvement in the campaign, as well as my role as an active parent volunteer, allow me to have a more personal understanding of what happens in our schools, and the people and programs that make them great. 

I have worked in public relations and communications at the Bank of New York and New York University, as well as in fundraising at University Hospitals of Cleveland and web creative management at Progressive Insurance. I will use my extensive background as a communications professional to improve communication among teachers, students, administrators, the board, and community members, so that everyone feels heard. I will work to analyze the transformative educational experience of the past two years and use the knowledge we’ve gained to leverage new technologies and address learning differences so that every child receives the education they deserve. I will advocate to ensure that the values of diversity and inclusion that we value as a community are supported through our school policies and the way they are administered, so that every student and teacher can feel safe and can be their true selves.


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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

Sara For Lakewood Judge

I am writing to tell you about Sara Fagnilli who is running for Judge. I have known Sara for a very long time. (A few decades). She has the best experience to jump into the position that Pat Carroll held for so many years. This is a very busy court and we cannot afford a learning curve. This position is the safeguard  of our community. Sara has the integrity, experience and temperament to be outstanding.

Sandy Maline grew up in her hometown of Lakewood. She is a Real Estate Broker who owns a small boutique real estate company. She has 36 years experience in sales in the greater Cleveland area.

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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

What Does A Yard Sign Mean?

My vote is private. So is yours. We never have to disclose to anyone else who we vote for in any given election.

My yard signs, on the other hand, are a public statement about who I am supporting in the upcoming election. Signs in my yard say I am committed to these candidates, proud of their experiences and expertise, and confident they will do a fine job once elected to their positions. Signs in my yard are one of the most visible ways I try to persuade my neighbors and friends to join me in voting for candidates. 

I ask neighbors about candidates whose signs are in their yards. It’s one of the ways I learn about candidates. “I’ve worked with him for years: he’s very thorough and professional. I recommend you think about voting for him.”  Sometimes neighbors don’t know much about the person. “He came to my door. He was pleasant. He asked to put a sign in my yard.”  I ask, “will you vote for this person?”  “I’m not sure yet. I have to do more research.”

Yard signs started appearing in August for a November General Election because we had a primary election in mid-September. It narrowed the field for Lakewood City Council and Lakewood Municipal Judge, but our job as voters is not finished for this year and so the yard signs still have work to do too.  School board seats have been added to the next ballot. If your preferred candidate made it through the primary, he and she need you to keep your yard sign up for a while longer. 


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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

Elect Laura Rodriguez-Carbone To Lakewood City Council At-Large

On Sept. 14, 2021, there is a critical primary election for the three At-Large Lakewood City Council positions. As a proud Lakewood resident, I want to see our community continue to thrive as we confront challenges that many other communities across the country share. Lakewood is unique in so many ways; our beautiful lakefront, our diversity, and our wealth of small businesses have made our city one of the best places to live in Ohio. Building a future for Lakewood that is inclusive, capable of responding to public health needs, and supportive of our business community will help ensure our city is strong for the generations to come. I believe Laura Rodriguez-Carbone is a leader for Lakewood’s future, and I hope you will join me in voting for her in this upcoming election.

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Volume 17, Issue 17, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

Sarah Kepple And Kyle Baker For Lakewood City Council

I am pleased to endorse current Councilperson Sarah Kepple and candidate Kyle Baker for Lakewood City Council. I have known both for several years and have observed their strong leadership in public service.

Sarah Kepple has proven to be a responsive advocate for the values I hold. We had been friendly acquaintances when we travelled together to the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC. That trip introduced me to the passionate progressive that Sarah is. Soon after the March, Sarah formed Action Together Lakewood Area, a group of citizens standing up for health and safety in our community. We wrote postcards, made phone calls, and organized demonstrations around issues like gun control, the Affordable Care Act, racial justice, and voting rights. 

When Mayor George’s Council seat opened up, Sarah took a leap and moved from private citizen to public servant. Since joining Council in early 2020, Sarah has been a tireless advocate for our city and its citizens. She listens and cares. But not just that…she does! 

During the COVID lockdown, Sarah wrote an ordinance for emergency remote council meetings to quickly allocate federal dollars for local businesses, first responders, and rent relief. Committed to transparency in government, she increased public participation by initiating eComment, live-streaming with closed-captioning, and proactively sharing information. And she has committed city leaders to racial equity and social justice education and serves on the Americans with Disabilities Task Force. 


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Volume 17, Issue 17, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021


My previous concerns about Brian Taubman's candidacy for Municipal Court Judge were based on a philosophical difference about the lighting ordinance. Brian and I have since resolved that difference. Thus, I have changed my mind and submit this correction because I no longer have concerns about his qualifications. Thank you.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

Keep Sarah Kepple!

My name is Sydney Heckeler and I just turned 18. Although I don’t feel like an adult (outside of now being able to buy lotto tickets when I flash my ID at Giant Eagle), I now have the privilege and right of being able to vote. This upcoming local election I know that I will be voting to keep Sarah Kepple on Lakewood City Council.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

Susannah Selnick Will Work To Bring Us Closer To A Society Where Everyone Is Valued And Participates

Congratulations hippies! Your work, worked! 

I’m supporting Susannah Selnick for Lakewood City Council because she gets it and works hard. I met her three years ago when she joined the Lakewood Chapter of the League of Women Voters to help register voters. I asked her to help me register voters at LEAF (Lakewood Earth And Food). “Yes.” I asked her to help me register voters at the Birdtown Picnic. “Yes.”  I asked her to drive with me into Cleveland and register voters. “Yes.”  I asked her to join me on the Lakewood YMCA Board and use her fundraising skills to help our neighbors participate. “Yes.”  She’s ready to work and help our community. She gets it.  

From Peace and Love in the 70’s, to Pride and AIDS Walks in the 90’s, to BLM right now, she understands, it’s in her DNA. We don’t have to educate her on why people who are different matter, she sees that value already. I heard her say recently, “We can’t have a conversation about you, without you.”  This understanding is insightful and telling.  

We need more female representation at all levels of government. A counselor was recently explaining to me the disservice that we do to our young boys and men when we expect them to lead, many without the desire, skill set, or knowledge. It makes them think that their ideas are always correct and that they’re entitled and righteous. Instead of forcing Square Pegs… let’s continue to encourage and support girls and young women to lead. Let’s have equal representation on decisions that affect our pursuit of happiness, our bodies, and our futures. 


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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 1:01 PM, 08.04.2021

Kyle Baker For Lakewood City Council

When I moved to Cleveland 8 years ago, the first question I was typically asked was: “Are you a Westsider or an Eastsider?” After letting them know I had just moved from Columbus after graduating from Ohio State, I would say, “I live downtown and I love it.” Fast forward a few years, my wife and I were looking for more space for us and our goldendoodle, Duke. As young professionals, we wanted a community that is walkable, has an established restaurant scene, has access to the Lake and parks, and is safe. We started our research and talked to close friends about the communities they lived in and where they grew up. No one had a deeper passion for and understanding of their community than Kyle Baker for Lakewood.

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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 1:01 PM, 08.04.2021

Who Should Judge Us?

In a few weeks, we’ll select the person who will preside over one of the most important things guaranteed to us as American citizens: A fair and impartial trial in a court of law. Serving as a federal administrative law judge for eight years, presiding over felony preliminary hearings as a Navy judge advocate, and thirty-five years of trial and appellate experience before federal, military, and state courts as well as administrative agencies has given me an understanding of the experience, attention to detail, preparation, and seasoning needed to serve the public as a judge.

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Volume 17, Issue 14, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021

Letter To The Editor

It seemed strange to me that there were no concerns noted in your last issue, June 2nd, about how our country is facing its greatest challenge since the Civil War. I would think, after the insurrection of January 6th and the way the Republican Party’s lies have tried to erase history and restrict voting rights across the nation, someone might have mentioned the peril we are experiencing. 

That’s what prompted this letter. Voices were also silent in the 1930’s in Germany. That didn’t turn out well.

Michael Lawless 

Michael Lawless and his wife have lived in Lakewood since 1981. He is a Navy Veteran who is very concerned about where our country is headed.

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Volume 17, Issue 12, Posted 1:55 PM, 06.16.2021

Keep Kepple On Council

Dear Neighbors:

This is a letter of support for Sarah Kepple for Lakewood City Council.  As I expected when she was unanimously chosen to fill Mayor George’s council seat, Sarah Kepple has risen to the occasion.  Her knowledge of computer communication systems has allowed all of us in Lakewood to continue to actively participate in our local government during the COVIC-19 reduced capacity and stay-at-home orders.  In her first month on the job, Sarah wrote an emergency ordinance upgrade software to run live meetings AND allow people to interact

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Volume 17, Issue 11, Posted 3:01 PM, 06.02.2021

Lakewood Citizen Susannah Selnick, And Friends Of Madison Park Speak Out Against Closure Of Basketball Courts

A Lakewood Citizen's Response to the City's Reaction to Recent Violent Crime

I, like all of my fellow Lakewoodites, am saddened and outraged by the string of violent crimes that have occurred in our City in the last few weeks. 

But, I am equally saddened and outraged at the response of our City leaders in the wake of these tragic events.

Basketball courts do not cause gun violence. Guns cause gun violence. The City’s response to close only these courts, sends a very clear message: Keep “others” out, so long as we are protected. And if this is not the intended message, then why did the City not also force the closure of Game On or the Metro PCS store where two other violent crimes occurred in the last month? Or why not close the roads to cars where individuals have recently been carjacked at gunpoint?

Basketball courts provide a welcoming, free, recreational space for children and adults to exercise, socialize, and have fun. It just so happens that two of these violent crimes in Lakewood in the last month have occurred on a basketball court.


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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

It's Déjà Vu All Over Again

As Covid-19 ravaged the world this time last year and physicians and scientists urged us to wear masks and to keep at least six feet away from others, conspiracy theories and misinformation abounded. A year and over 500,000 American deaths later, it’s déjà vu all over again as many people hesitate to get vaccinated against Covid-19 because they’ve heard it will damage their DNA. 

            The vaccines do not use DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) and they do not affect or damage DNA. The Covid-19 vaccines use fragments of mRNA (messenger Ribonucleic Acid), which is not DNA. The mRNA fragments in the vaccines stimulate our bodies’ immune systems to develop antibodies against the Covid-19 virus because those are genetically identical to the mRNA in Covid-19. Those antibodies will remember how to fight the virus if we are infected in the future. 

            Another objection to getting vaccinated is that stem cells are used in the vaccines. However, while the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine was produced by growing the virus in fetal cells during vaccine development and manufacturing using the PER.C6 line, the vaccines themselves do not contain stem cells or pieces of DNA. The vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna did not use a fetal cell line to produce or manufacture the vaccine.


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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Traffic Noise In Lakewood

The city of Lakewood has a lot to offer its residents. Good schools, beautiful parks, excellent library, great city services, vibrant downtown, wonderful restaurant scene, the list goes on. These things make Lakewood a desirable place to live and create a good quality of life. However, that good quality of life has been diminished in recent years by excessive traffic noise.

Illegal and defective exhaust systems on cars, trucks and motorcycles have increased dramatically over the last few years and have reached a point where it has become a nuisance at best and a health hazard at worst. In 2011, the World Health Organization released a report titled, “Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise” “The authors concluded that ‘there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population’ and ranked traffic noise second among environmental threats to public health (the first being air pollution). The authors also noted that while other forms of pollution are decreasing, noise pollution is increasing.


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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Things Happen And We Want Change

So, tonight, January 6th 2021, is a day that will go down in infamy-- tells me Chuck Schumer, who, at this late moment of the day will be the Senate Majority Leader, quite soon. But--will it?

They have, meaning the manufactory of non events, been telling us since the pandemic arrived that we are in this together-- check your progressive tax rates for following Dec 7th, 1941 and following March Come Pandemic Day 2020. There seems to be a discrepancy of actual in this togetherness proof.

Real events are built on non lies and power redistribution-- not meaning to say that all new distributions of power avail nice history. But, if we want a life of actual events we have to deal with the powers that are most present to us. These, ultimately, are labor and capital-- not an easy division say some, many invest in the stock market. Yet, I’ve heard that those that invest in the stock market don’t actually own any part of decision whereas someone with the power of negotiation for their labor always owns a part of decision if they so choose to own it. I know, an idealism, but: THEY SAY DEMOCRATS WON THE ELECTION IN GEORGIA. So, why is it we elect Democrats?


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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:47 PM, 01.20.2021

Think Small For Thanksgiving 2020

As you plan Thanksgiving this year, try one simple and easy idea: stay home, together with people you live with.

This option is perfect for a dire pandemic, like the one we’re experiencing. There’s really no better way to go right now. A recent headline about our northern neighbors, who celebrate several weeks before we do, explains: “Canada’s had its Thanksgiving—and now has a COVID-19 spike.”

But staying in on Thanksgiving is also one of life’s best-kept secrets.

I have hosted Thanksgiving for three, or two, or even one, many times, and it’s one of the best days of the year. It’s unbelievably peaceful. Not just Thanksgiving itself, but everything. When you go small on Thanksgiving, you discover that the last Thursday in November is about as close as America gets to just giving it a rest for one whole day, all year.

Try it, trust me on this.

You could experiment with variations. You could stay in and still prepare a feast for 10; you’ll just have more leftovers. If you have to go visiting, try to stay outdoors. If you have to break bread together, avoid any kind of buffet service.

Staying in, though, is really something everyone should try for Thanksgiving some time, and this year is about the best moment you could choose. Stay safe everyone.

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Things Will Not Change

Or, will they? Been recently reading an article by Rahm Emanuel, an old article, meaning before the virus, May 2019- what said? He’s sick and tired of elites running things, it seems. How nice of him to say. But, what does it mean? He’s an elite guy with a bug, somewhere. There is a massive break between what we think and what people tell us what to think. It’s so massive that the only thing we can perceive is attitude and demeanor and a few vague talking points. Okay, so all this is quite obvious to us. But, what if we cannot connect between what education is and what it means to be a human being? There is a massive virus afoot but there was one before it came-- education thinking it must tell people what to do, that education is power. A man concretely yelling middle class, Rahm Emanuel, when there is nothing in his thoughts but political power, as in, how to tame the middle class. Not to mention, Mr. Emanuel, the Democrats have decided to dismiss the poor.

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

Drain The Swamp #45

I saw the most amazing yard sign today on the way to work – Drain the Swamp. Of course, the designer of such a foul thing has to use our country’s proud colors. Red, white and blue – did you know white signifies purity and innocence? Red is for hardiness and valor and our blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. All the great symbolism our country stands for is vulgarized in this hideous sign. The verbiage is equally horrific. I’m not going to even address what I think they want the sign to mean.

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Volume 16, Issue 19, Posted 6:07 AM, 10.08.2020

Selfish Noisemakers

Another beautiful summer has come to add to the beauty of our city. But, with has come a return of the noise made by those who simply like noise regardless the disturbance of peace of those around them. This noise comes from people who put loud exhaust systems on their vehicles, often motorcycles, but also cars; and also from vehicles driven with windows open and stereos blasting the driver's choice of music at a deafening volume.

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Volume 16, Issue 14, Posted 4:08 PM, 08.05.2020

The Elephant In The Room

Cultures across our nation have the absolute right to raise their children the way they seem fit. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects this liberty, incorporating “the right to marry, establish a home, and bring up children.” However, this amendment does not give parents or caregivers the right to emotionally, physically, and sexually degrade each other in the presence of their own young, influential children.

In the United States, between 4.5 million and 15 million children are exposed to physical violence in the home. The nonprofit research organization Child Trends reported in 2018, approximately 4.5 million children had seen or heard parents or other adults use offensive language, slapping, hitting, kicking, or punching each other in the home. If this pattern of ongoing destructive behavior among adults in the home is not professionally addressed, especially during a child’s developmental years, there is a higher risk of continuing the cycle of violence within the family structure over the years.


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Volume 16, Issue 13, Posted 5:19 PM, 07.01.2020

Lakewood Public Library Needs To Open Up Its Computer Labs

Lakewood Public Library needs to provide computer service for its patrons who have no home computer. 

People need to use the computers for emails, online banking, food shopping, job searching, unemployment applications, researh, virtual appointments, and printing. Students, with no home computer, need to have access to distance learning.

I emailed James Crawford, Director of Lakewood Public Library, asking when he will open up the computer labs and he replied:

"It may be several weeks if not months before the Library offers patrons access to public computers.

I understand that the Westlake Porter Public Library is offering public computer access. I suggest calling Westlake Porter to ask what you would need to obtain a library card and computer access there.

Also, I understand that UPS stores are offering computer access for a fee. 

Finally, you may want to call the Cleveland Public Library to learn what their plans are to offer computer access to Cleveland residents..."  

I wonder why the Westlake Porter Library is opening up their computer labs to help the public, while the Lakewood Public library is not? Their library cannot serve the needs of all Ohioans with no computer. And some people have no cars and cannot get to their library.


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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 5:19 PM, 07.01.2020

It Ain't Over Til It's Over

Although we’re not even close to being out of the woods yet vis à vis COVID-19, some of us are acting like we already are - not keeping a safe distance, and not wearing a face mask. These risky behaviors emphasize the need to remember that we’re all interdependent. 

Much ado has been made of the perceived ‘need’ to “Make America smart again.” What we do need to do is to start thinking again. So, let’s think about some of the myths that are being used to justify the careless behavior that has emerged since Ohio and the rest of the world started reopening. 

            “I’m young and COVID-19 won’t affect me.” While not everyone who’s infected by COVID-19 has symptoms or gets sick, if you’re infected you can still pass it to others – including your partner, children, parents, and grandparents -  if you don’t wear a face mask and don’t maintain physical distancing. 

            “Wearing a mask doesn’t help because the virus is so small.” Virus particles are small, but a mask or face covering filters out droplets of your breath that may carry the virus if you are infected. Because not everyone who’s infected gets sick, you could be infected and passing the virus along without knowing it. Wearing a mask protects others. Physical distancing protects you and others. 

             “Making me wear a mask violates my rights.” Do you really want to exercise your right to get sick, die – or infect or kill someone else? Everything we do affects others. The opposite of careless is caring


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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

One Mother Asks... Letting Your Kids Hang Out? WTF!

“So have been trying to figure out a way to post this and not come off like a major bitch. It just isn't possible. So, my apologies if you read this, it may not be directed at you. And this is also a vague post. But, if you take offense at this, I am ok with it because you are the offender.

I just had to have a 20 minute conversation with my very upset teenage son about why he can't go to his friend's house when all of his friends are hanging out. He listed way too many kids that have been hanging out at their friends' houses, and walking around the city. I am pissed off. What in the world is wrong with you for letting your kids hang out right now?! Now, I'm the bad guy. What is the point of all of us going through all of this, when people are letting their kids hang out right now?! This will never end if we allow this to happen.

If you are a parent of one one of these kids, and are friends with me, and are offended by this, fine. Unfriend me. I am seriously so angry right now.


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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Roberts And Wendt Animal Clinic Loses Its "Heart And Soul"

Roberts and Wendt Animal Clinic is a small, neighborhood animal clinic established in 1930 by Dr. Roberts and Dr. Wagner in the heart of Lakewood. It is Cleveland's oldest small animal clinic in the area. Dr. Wallace Wendt joined the clinic as a partner in 1945. The clinic doctors served as the Cleveland Metropark veterinarians from the late 1930s until 1988. The animal clinic has always been known for high quality care of one's animals. Dr. Victoria Wendt followed in her father's footsteps. She graduated from The Ohio State Veterinarian School in 1987 and began to practice at Roberts and Wendt in 1988. Dr. Victoria Wendt has been part owner and Chief of Staff since taking the practice from her dad.

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 3:07 PM, 03.19.2020

Vote FOR Issue 33 To Keep Seniors Independent, Support Life Flight & Trauma Center

I urge my Lakewood neighbors to vote FOR Issue 33, Cuyahoga County’s Health and Human Services levy.

400,000 Cuyahoga County residents are helped by the services paid for by Issue 33: seniors who want to remain in their homes; kids in preschool; children at risk of abuse or neglect; people who need mental health or addiction care; foster kids; people with disabilities, and more.

On top of this, Issue 33 helps all of us through investments in MetroHealth’s life flight, trauma center, and neonatal intensive care unit.

The City of Lakewood will benefit from Issue 33: our senior services, juvenile diversion, and youth programs receive more than $500,000 in funding from Cuyahoga County that would be strengthened by passing the levy. As Chair of City Council’s Finance Committee, I can affirm this is a meaningful amount of funds to help our human services operate each year. Lakewood could not serve as many residents without this cost share from the County.


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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.04.2020

Vote Yes On Issue 28

I am voting for Issue 28 to support the Lakewood City Schools. As a parent of two current students in the district and a third future student, my family has experienced the wonderful teachers, robust curriculum, and many co-curricular opportunities the district offers. My wife and I have children in two different schools each of whom are engaged in a positive, challenging environment. The educators in our children’s lives have been very impactful and have met our children where they are academically and challenged them to move forward.  Our children have learned a great deal from their peers who represent diverse cultures.

As a member of the Lakewood Board of Education I fully support district leadership. Our leaders have demonstrated excellent community engagement as evidenced by the Vision of a Lakewood Graduate. The district has also been fiscally responsible, given that nearly seven years have elapsed since the last levy. Sound fiscal stewardship has carried the district far, however operational costs have risen. Issue 28 will relieve the district of a deficit spending situation and ensure that our schools and community stay strong.


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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

In Support Of Issue 28

Dear Editor,
I am writing to share why I am supporting Issue 28 in our upcoming March election.

As I reflect on the eleven years that I have been a Lakewood resident, I am struck by how the services, programs and amenities of this community have profoundly affected my family’s quality of life. The Lakewood Family Room provided me parenting skills and resources to better care for my young children, and we made many new friends there.

My children have now grown into the public school system, and I have been impressed with every teacher, specialist and staff member I’ve met. These individuals have been responsive to my family’s needs, and more importantly to the needs of all of the children they work to serve, educate and uplift every day. Our community is uniquely diverse, and so are our children. The Lakewood schools are committed to supporting the learning and growth of every child in our community.

Issue 28 will enable our schools to:
- Offer more counseling, mental health and health services for students;
- Recruit and retain high-quality teachers by paying them competitive salaries;
- Expand STEM classes to prepare students for their futures;
- Keep educational technology and other learning materials up-to-date; and
- Maintain our community’s investment by keeping all of our school buildings, athletic fields, vehicles, and other assets in good condition.

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

Be Wary of Sam O'Leary. Don't Be Fooled Again.

As the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” In 2015, I naively supported Sam O’Leary’s campaign to maintain his Ward 2 seat on Lakewood City Council after being appointed the previous year.

At one of Sam’s campaign fundraisers that summer, we spoke one-on-one at length. Sam is approachable and articulate. He appears to take a genuine interest in others. He convinced me that he was an independent thinker committed to due diligence and the highest ethical standards. I expressed concerns regarding Lakewood’s future, including the fate of our hospital. He shared my sentiments and promised to fight. We corresponded and spoke throughout the year regarding the hospital closing, but as a council vote on the issue neared, Sam began replying with patronizing rhetoric in line with the administration. I no longer felt represented and haven’t since.

I learned just this year that in March 2015, Sam was designated campaign treasurer for former Lakewood Mayor and Cuyahoga County Executive, Ed FitzGerald, coming off his loss for Governor amid questionable behavior. Had I been aware of this at the time, I would have been leery. FitzGerald launched a fake, single issue newspaper that misled voters on the hospital issue before a community wide vote that November; and then became a consultant to the developer who scored the land grab at the corner of Belle and Detroit after council voted to close the hospital.

Sam’s St. Charles Green dream (to add land to the park system) unveiled just ahead of his 2015 campaign hadn’t been mentioned again until the eve of another election season, just weeks ago. A lack of attention to Ward 2 for nearly six years, the bombardment of recent mailings, banners, county establishment endorsements and countywide fundraisers are a clear sign that he’s doing someone’s bidding beyond his supposedly beloved hometown.  




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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 5:11 PM, 10.16.2019

Why I Support Jeff Wise For Council

As a longtime resident of Ward 3, I have always voted in elections. This year I feel compelled not only to vote, but to express why I will be voting the way I will.

It is time for a change. Now is our chance to elect folks that want to do things differently and listen to the residents. I firmly believe Jeff Wise fits that description. I had the opportunity to attend a community meeting he hosted last month. The focus of the meeting was the various developments being planned in Lakewood.

A summary of the points discussed include:

  • Jeff Wise supports development that makes sense for the neighborhood - he supports green space and sustainability as well as transitioning properly into a neighborhood
  • He believes in transparency - if elected he will continue to hold community meetings as he did when he worked in Columbus
  • He thinks when something is before a board the entire neighborhood should be notified and not just the immediate properties
  • He acknowledges he may not always say what we want to hear but he will he be up front about his thoughts
  • He opposes rubber stamping as our current council seems to prefer to do
  • He is excited that our city council could look totally different after the upcoming election

As a resident directly impacted by one of the proposed Solove Development projects, I was excited to hear his perspective. I was especially pleased to hear he believes development needs to make sense and to transition into a neighborhood. I am not getting that same sense from the current administration or the Architectural Review Board.


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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 5:11 PM, 10.16.2019

Letter To The Editor

Dear Lakewood Observer,

I've been visiting your fair suburb of Center City Cleveland for going on 20 years now. My daughter settled in Lakewood after college to pursue her artistic dreams. American Greetings made that possible. Now my two granddaughters attend what I (a teacher) consider some of the best public schools in our grand country!

Now, I'd better get to the point of my writing. I discovered the gem of hair heaven at Carabel Beauty Shop on Madison during the past few years of visits. This establishment will be celebrating 50 years of business at this location, 15309 Madison, the 1st of November. If you have never been to that pink stucco building, it's time to make an appointment for an interview with the owner Bonnie, her daughter, or any member of her delightful staff. You will walk into 1950's Hair! Hairdos, Hair Spray, and unending love and attention with talk, talk, talk!

I try to have some type of service done whenever I'm in town to visit. It truly is a gem.

Ms. Vonny Nelson Eckman
Carlise, PA (The Car Show Mecca of the East Coast, Home to United States Army War College, Dickinson College, and Penn State Dickinson School of Law.) 
Come Visit!

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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 5:11 PM, 10.16.2019